Anatomy of stroke, Part II: volumetric characteristics with implications for the local architecture of the cerebral perfusion system

Caviness VS, Makris N, Montinaro E, Sahin NT, Bates JF, Schwamm L, Caplan D, Kennedy DN

Stroke 2002 Nov;33(11):2557-64

PMID: 12411642


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The margin of a stroke is assumed to approximate a trace of the isobar of the perfusion threshold for infarction at the time that infarction occurred. Working from this hypothesis, we have analyzed stroke topography and volume in MR images obtained at a time remote from the stroke event. We have derived parameters from these images that may give information on local perfusion competence and microvascular architecture because they influenced the contour of stroke at the time infarction occurred.

METHODS: MR images were obtained months after presumed embolic middle cerebral artery stroke in 21 subjects. Volumetric analyses of image data were undertaken with respect to the tissue shape of stroke and scaling ratios of anatomic partitions involved in stroke.

RESULTS: For stroke confined to a single volume, the 3-dimensional form conforms to a parabola in which the height-to-width ratios are variable. The ratio for cortex is greater than that for underlying white matter. Scaling ratios indicate a close correlation between volume of cortex and radiata destroyed and total volume of stroke, but the relative proportions vary as a function of location within the M4 territory.

CONCLUSIONS: Scaling ratios for cortex and radiata to stroke volume are consistent with vascular studies that depict a modular microvascular perfusion architecture for the cortex and underlying white matter. The stroke descriptors are inferred to be related to the competence of collateral perfusion at the time that stroke occurred. This inference may be tested by serial volumetric analysis of the perfusion-diffusion examination mismatch immediately and over the longer-term evolution of stroke.